Friday, 18 January 2013

Topman Design.

The issue with menswear on runways is how to balance design and creativity and pushing limits without pushing your audience away. Wearability is the word. And, sure, if design and making art are your primary concerns then this isn't really an issue but if you want to actually sell garments the market for brave male dressing is considerably smaller than that of its female counterpart. This is all the result of stupid, outdated social mores and double-standards that really annoy me but that's a rant I've had before and will probably have again some other time.

So, yeah, how to create AND sell?

I believe Topman Design has the answer. Their A/W 2013-14 collection is wonderfully innovative and has items only the courageous would wear but there's a lot there that styled differently, or even taken as is, any man could wear. There's an orange section that surprisingly avoids the pitfalls that colour often offers. There's a playful nature with collars being oversize at times or coats being longer or shorter than one might expect at other times. The knits are unabashedly beautiful and there is a note of detailing in the clothes that is usually reserved for womenswear - two brocade coats being a prime example of this - and yet these are undeniably "masculine" clothes. Two looks that might make most men balk are a wine-coloured suit with shorts instead of trousers and some baggy wine leather pants but these are still great, cool clothes. My stand-out piece has to be the fur-trimmed coat that was part of the final look - a majorly chic article of clothing. Overall, it is a collection that nudges boundaries rather than pushing the issue and manages to both be young and timeless. A man in his fifties could wear some of the pieces as easily as one in his twenties and look modern and new but without forgetting the history of menswear that came before.

(All images from

PS After a conversation with my friend, Noel, I decided that I'm gonna look at menswear more often from now on so, yeah...look forward to that!

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